Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tu, Vu and You

I am taking French classes after work. In Canada, it can pay to be bilingual. Our teacher focuses on teaching us vu and tu, the French versions of you. During the break, I ask her a few questions on when to use vu and when to use tu.

"Ah yezz." She nods understandingly. "I know lot of people used to English cannot understand zis. In English you have only you. In French, you have two levels of you. Sometimez you say vu, other times it is tu."

"Yes," I impatiently cut in, "but my question ..."

"Is I know hard." She continues obliviously. "In French we have two levels of you. It is hard to comprehend, I know."

"Ma'am." I replied quietly. "I am Bengali. In Bangla we have THREE levels of you. (Aapni, Tumi and Tui - corresponds to aap, tum and tu in Hindi/Urdu). So I can understand TWO levels perfectly."

"Oh." The French teacher's pride in her language was punctured. "I see."

I walked back to my desk, chest swelling at the marvelous Bengali language. Another student seated next to me, a Chinese fellow, leaned in and whispered. "Interesting. Do you know in my dialect, we have thirteen levels of you?"

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8 comments:

Dil-E-Nadaan said...

Mezba, I really enjoy reading your blog and added you to my blogroll, I hope you do not mind!

Masti-boy said...

We have 4 levels in our neighborhood

AAP, TUM, TU and ABE O !!

mezba said...

Nermeen, welcome, thank you for the comments and of course, I don't mind at all.

Masti - good one.

Masti-boy said...

some new great moments from cricket I uploaded

Safiyyah said...

Ummm...don't mean to ruin your post, but it's VOUS! Note the spelling! I'm going to have nightmares about 'vu' tonight.

Safiyyah said...

:-)

mezba said...

Safiyyah, thanx. My kid brother said the same thing (it's vous) and I ignored him. Guess I learnt my lesson.

To vous or not to vous.

AuditiO Addabaaz said...

French people must have some problem in their tongue! (no offence:P) they seem to gobble up half of the letters they write!!! i don't know how you are supposed to know what you are supposed to pronounce or not... n i totally don't understand whatz the point of making your words longer when you don't even pronounce it that way!!! that is just ridiculus... i am happy with my special pronunciation of french which entertains people! but no thnx to french courses :P